What’s in the Box!- October 2020 Predictions

Posted September 17, 2020 by stuckint in Book Subscriptions, BOTM / 10 Comments

Hello everyone. If you have been following us for any length of time you know that we took a break from covering Book of the Month due to their treatment of certain bookstagrammers of color calling out the lack of diversity in their monthly selections.

In the last few months Book of the Month has made concerted efforts to be more diverse in their selections and we have been so impressed by their efforts that we finally feel comfortable covering them again.

Like before, we will do a monthly predictions post around the 15th of every month as well as an in depth break down of the actual picks once they are confirmed closer to the end of each month.

So be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of the Book of the Month fun. Also, remember that our guesses are just that, we are doing our best but it’s quite likely that we get them wrong. So keep that in mind.

Possible Main Picks

Memorial by Bryan Washington (Contemporary Fiction)

Memorial by Bryan Washington
Published by Riverhead Books on October 27, 2020
Pages: 320

A funny, sexy, profound dramedy about two young people at a crossroads in their relationship and the limits of love.
Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson's a Black day care teacher, and they've been together for a few years -- good years -- but now they're not sure why they're still a couple. There's the sex, sure, and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other.
But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation, discovering the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike's immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realizing he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.
Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together, or fracture everything they've ever known. And just maybe they'll all be okay in the end. Memorial is a funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms, joyful and hard-won vulnerability, becoming who you're supposed to be, and the limits of love.

Bryan Washington is a repeat Book of the Month author, subscribers might remember him for his short story collection: Lot. It has also received rave reviews from previous Book of the Month authors such as Jasmine Guillory. What’s more, the novel follows a gay couples, one a Japanese chef and the other a black day care worker, whose relationship has seen better days. Unexpected events lead to humorous living arrangement, heartwarming moments and major transformations for both men.

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman (Historical Fantasy)

Magic Lessons (Practical Magic) by Alice Hoffman
Published by Simon Schuster on October 6, 2020
Pages: 416

In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.
Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.
When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.
Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.

Not only is Alice Hoffman a repeat author but this historical fantasy set during the Salem witch trials is the perfect Halloween read. Plus it just sounds like a Book of the Month pick: a female focused family driven historical novel with elements of magical realism.

Conditional Citizens by Laila Lalami (Nonfiction)

Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami
on October 28, 2020

What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize---finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth--such as national origin, race, and gender--that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still their shadows today.
Lalami poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained that keeps the modern equivalent of white make landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people with whom America embraces with one arm and pushes away with the other.
Brilliantly argued and deeply personal, Conditional Citizens weaves together Lalami's own experiences with explorations of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture.

Another repeat Book of the Month author Lalami’s memoir chronicling her immigrant experience from Morocco to becoming a US Citizen. Lalami also examines issues of race, class and white supremacy in America- topics that are all too relevant event today. Beyond that, Conditional Citizens is blurbed by Viet Tanh Nguyen, whose book The Sympathizer was an add on last year. There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to nonfiction picks but we will be shocked if this isn’t a selection.

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Literary Fiction)

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Published by Ecco on October 6, 2020
Pages: 256

A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another? 
Suspenseful and provocative, Rumaan Alam’s third novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis. 

A repeat Book of the Month author, Leave the World Behind is a literary mystery that feels all too real in a time marked by social isolation and quarantine. Two couples find themselves stranded together in a rural, technologically barren home and what follows is both disturbing and strange.

Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark (Horror Fantasy)

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark
Published by Tordotcom on October 13, 2020
Pages: 192

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns with Ring Shout, a dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan's reign of terror.
D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth.
Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and a head full of tales. When she's not running bootleg whiskey through Prohibition Georgia, she's fighting monsters she calls "Ku Kluxes." She's damn good at it, too. But to confront this ongoing evil, she must journey between worlds to face nightmares made flesh--and her own demons. Together with a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter, Maryse sets out to save a world from the hate that would consume it.

Another historically set novel with horror elements, this all too relevant novel puts a supernatural twist and the KKK and we are here for it. It is getting rave reviews by tons of author in BIPOC community and is a must read for anyone looking to diversify their Fall reading. This quick little novel fits right at home in Book Of the Month’s go to selections with a rag tag band of misfits trying to fight the demons and save the day.

Possible Add Ons

It seems that lately Book of the Month has relegated a lot of repeat white authors to add ons and we think that October will be no exception. Below are some possible add ons.

Well Matched by Jen Deluca (Romance)

Well Played (Well Met, #2) by Jen DeLuca
Published by Berkley on September 22, 2020
Pages: 336

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.
Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it's been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she'll even find The One.
When Stacey imagined "The One," it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she's not sure what to make of it.
Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey's shock, it isn't Dex—she's been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

The sequel to Well Met seems a likely choice considering how popular the first novel was. Although, like most romance novels this more of a companion to the first than a sequel, meaning the books can, for the most part, be read out of order.

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell (Thriller)

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell
Published by Atria Books on October 13, 2020
Pages: 368

The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.
Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.
In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.
Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.
Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.
With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).

Lisa Jewell, in selections past, has become some thing of a Book of the Month darling and her mysteries continue to be feature on the site. It should be no surprised that this would be, at the very least, an add on. There is so much to unpack about this book including secret societies, family secrets and an abduction. If that wasn’t enough to convince you it is blurbed by past Book of the Month authors Lucy Foley and Jojo Moyes,

Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (Fantasy)

A Deadly Education (Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik
Published by Del Rey Books on September 29, 2020
Pages: 336

Lesson One of the Scholomance
Learning has never been this deadly
A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

Out of all of our guesses we think this could either be a main pick or an add on but it would be surprising to see two of the five main picks be fantasy so we are putting this dark fantasy set in a school so here we are. We are really only basing this guess off the fact that Spinning Silver was a pick some time ago and Deadly Education is a highly anticipated release of the Fall. Not to mention the major Ninth House vibes this book gives out with the strong female leads standing against a dark, corrupt educational system.

Confirmed Add-On

Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand (General Fiction/Romance)

Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
on October 6, 2020
Pages: 352

What happened in Paradise? At last all will be revealed about the secrets and lies that led Irene and her sons to St. John -- and to new lives that transformed them all.

Every once in awhile the authors make it easy on us by confirming picks in advance, and Elin confirmed this one via Instagram! It should be no real shock since so many of her books have been prior picks, but it’s nice to have at least one confirmed already!

What About You?

What do you think of our guesses? If these are correct what do you plan on picking? Let us know in the comments and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of our posts!

10 responses to “What’s in the Box!- October 2020 Predictions

  1. Terri

    I’m happy to see you back in the stacks with BOTM predictions! I saw confirmation from Elin Hilderbrand her third Paradise book would be an add-on this month. I’m hoping that’s true, but am pretty excited about your predictions as well!

  2. Deepika

    Even if these books don’t make, I’m definitely going to read 3 of them: memorial, leave the world behind and ring shout. thanks for putting them on my radar!

  3. Jennifer

    Really hoping black sun by Rebecca Roanhorse is a pick or add-on and the once and future witches by Alix Harrow is a pick or add on.

  4. Emily Camp

    I read somewhere that the author of Well Played said it was not going to be a pick. 🙁 . I’m bummed, Well Met is one of my favorites. I’m glad that Trouble in Paradise is definitely a pick, I just finished the other two last month that I’d been holding onto since they were picks.

    • Giovanna Reyes

      You guys got so many guesses right! I wish we did get Well Played since I enjoyed Well Met and have it in their hardback version. Having a complete set would be divine.

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